Open policy making and other transparency measures in developing and implementing electronic electoral technologies are crucial to building and maintaining public confidence. A high level of technical expertise is required to scrutinize the efficacy of such technologies. Political party and candidate representatives, non-partisan citizen election monitors and journalists are faced with particular challenges in verifying electoral integrity when electronic technologies are used for voter registries, voting, vote tabulating and transmitting official electoral results. It is wise therefore to consider innovative measures to assure the public, including electoral contestants, that the technologies are properly employed and the outcomes they report are accurate.
Independent, impartial and trusted expert panels, themselves created through a transparent and politically inclusive process, are one innovation that can make important contribution to ensuring the integrity of such technologies and building public trust to the degree such trust in warranted.
- Establish and an independent expert panel to review development requirements, certification and testing, production and delivery, maintenance and auditing of electronic voting, vote tabulation, voter registration and other sensitive electronic electoral technologies:
- Require that the panel include experts selected or approved by the political contestants and civil society organizations.
- Provide that the panel be adequately funded.
- Provide the panel with access to meetings that deliberate policies and/or make decisions concerning application of such electronic technologies.
- Provide the panel with access to EMB, vendor generated and all other reports related to such technologies.
- Empower the panel to conduct real-time tests of technologies in use during elections.
- Require the panel to report publicly its findings (which may respect proprietary interests of vendors and other technology suppliers) in the period before, immediately following and within six months after an election, and annually in non-election periods.